The gun registry vote: a shaken MP, an unsatisfying debate - Macleans.ca
 

The gun registry vote: a shaken MP, an unsatisfying debate

How can voters judge whether their MPs did the right thing?


 

Just before this evening’s vote on the gun registry I ran into Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer in the foyer of the House of Commons. He’s usually a jovial, stolid sort of guy—voted most collegial in this year’s Maclean’s survey of MPs. This evening, though, he didn’t look so good.

Stoffer is known for tirelessly attending to his Sackville-Eastern Shore riding. So since his announcement on Monday that he was switching his vote on the gun registry—from opposing it to supporting it—he’s had been working the phones just about non-stop, responding personally to angry constituents who contacted his office to lace into him.

“I don’t use the Internet so I called every single person back,” Stoffer said wearily. “There is no question fair number of people have expressed their severe disappointment in me.”

Stoffer put himself on the winning side, although he didn’t appear to feel that way. He and five other NDP MPs switched their votes to keep the registry alive in this evening’s vote. Six New Democrats sided with the government, but that wasn’t enough. The vote was 153-151 in favour of of a motion to kill Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner’s private member’s bill to scrap the registry.

The questions now are mostly electoral. Will those six NDP switchers pay a price? Will rural Liberal MPs, who were compelled to vote along their party’s pro-registry line, be punished by voters?

“I can’t tell how it’s going to go. I’ll put my name on the ballot and the people will determine if I’m worthy or not,” Stoffer said. “When you reverse a decision, a lot of people think you’ve let them down. That’s a fair comment to make.”

That’s the proper, democratic attitude, of course. Yet it unsettles me. This debate just didn’t seem coherent enough to me for voters to intelligently judge whether their MPs did the right thing or not.

From the anti-registry side, we heard mostly nonsense about how criminals won’t register their guns—as if that was ever the point of the registry. From the pro-registry side, we witnessed a heavy reliance on very broad statistics about the way police use the registry—and surprisingly little research that dug deeper to paint a persuasive picture of how the registry helps.

As for me, I think the balance of evidence supports the keeping the registry. But considering how long this debate has dragged on, it’s surprising the quality of the argument—the facts and the analysis available for fair-minded people to hash over—is still so unsatisfactory.


 
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The gun registry vote: a shaken MP, an unsatisfying debate

  1. Polish those resumes boys

    • By "boys" do you mean the Quebec Conservative caucus?

      • Those "boys" are also girls.

        • Yes they are.

    • This comment suggests that there are huge numbers of voters in ridings currently held by NPD and Liberal MPs who will make their next electoral decision on the basis of guns alone, while entirely ignoring the stumbling of the CPC government. It seems to me that this is simply wishfull thinking.

      • Right: Like this is the only issue the electorate is going to consider the next time we go to the polling station.

    • It is unreasonable to think that voters in these NDP and Liberal rural ridings will vote conservative just because they still have to register their long guns. Maybe they will also think about how the Conservatives wasted a $13 billion surplus before the recession, how they spent $16 billion + on fighter jets we probably don't need, or how they crippled the government's ability to collect meaningful data to assist in policy development.

  2. The questions now are mostly electoral. Will those six NDP switchers pay a price. Will rural Liberal MPs, who were compelled to vote along their party's pro-registry line, be punished by voters?

    Why do journalists never ask if Conservative MPs in urban areas will be punished by voters for voting in favour of scrapping the registry?

    • I don't think it's as big an issue in urban Canada. Compared to Rural areas anyway.
      And urban areas like Toronto the CPC are not that competitive anyway.

      • I don't think it was, but this most recent round of belligerence and bull seems to have gotten some interested. I've had people who know nothing about guns and didn't care about the registry one way or the other suddenly asking me questions. They are very unhappy with how Harper handled this.

      • see pundit'sguide.ca for a full analysis

    • Because contrary to the media framing of this story, urban ridings aren't going to vote based on the gun registry.

      • Well, most won't, but it's one more thing that Harper is wrong on. There's kind of a cumulative effect building here, with Harper being on the wrong side of most of their issues.

        • I will say for a fact those urban and Quebec Conservative mp;s are going to be targeted by Liberals.

          • I'd imagine the Bloc is going to be painting some bulls eyes on them too.

          • With what internet and radio spots? Have you seen the balance sheet and membership of your party?

            The Conservatives took in $4.1 million in donations between April 1 and the end of June, compared to $2.4 million for the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois combined. For the Conservatives it is their best second quarter result since coming to power in 2006, despite months of negative headlines about deficits, Guergis and the G20. The Liberals raised a total of $1.6 million, down from last year's total of $4 million when they actually out-tallied the Conservatives on fundraising. http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/search?updated-

        • If Harper was so wrong about this issue, it seems that proponents of the long-gun registry would be able to produce some solid facts in support of it. To date, all they seem to have to support them are endorsements of the registry from organizations that accept hefty donations from the companies who profit from the registry, and reports produced by RCMP bureaucrats with an interest in keeping their cushy jobs.

          • Is that the latest talking point, Patrick? Who are these companies who profit from the registry?

          • You call it a talking point. But what it is is a hard, cold fact.

            The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police accepted a $115,000 donation from the CGI Group, who happen to produce the software for the National Firearms Centre.

            Care to comment on THAT fact? Or would you prefer to pretend it's just a talking point?

        • In 2009 how many seats did the Liberals win vs the incumbent?

    • I'd like to know the answer to that question, too.

    • And why do journalists never ask where and when Candice Heppner's "radio ads" aired on the actual radio?

    • Er, they're mostly in Edmonton and Calgary.

      • To use a "reverend' analogy: Preaching to the converted. That sure makes sense.

      • Not according to my map of the latest election results they're not.

    • Actually pundit's guide has exactly that kind of analysis

    • It's because they WON'T, Bobby. Tory voters understand full well that the long-gun registry is simply a waste of public resources. They just aren't as susceptible to the emotional blackmail long-gun registry proponents have used to support their cause.

      • Even the ones that used to be Liberal voters?

        • Especially them. They managed to rise above Liberal fear-mongering, they're starting to get it.

          • I would suggest that most of them became Conservative voters because of AdScam, not because they think that Liberal fear-mongering is less relevant than Conservative fear-mongering. To suggest that the average Canadian voter is capable of seeing past the talking points is giving too much credit to the average voter.

          • Hmmm. Condescension as a poligical argument. I've heard this one before, and I've never bought it.

          • An amusing comment, considering the source. Also, condescending to my condescension? Psha.

            Back on topic, do you disagree with the main point?

            … most of them became Conservative voters because of AdScam, not because they think that Liberal fear-mongering is less relevant than Conservative fear-mongering.

            My view is that most of the voters that the Conservatives picked up were fiscal conservatives (not even necessarily Liberals) that were outraged by AdScam. This is especially evident, considering that the Conservative Party appear to have simply recovered the popular vote that the Reform and PCs split in 2000 (25.5% and 12% respectively). And, that the 15% that the Liberals have lost, appears to be awfully close to the increases seen by the NDP (+9% since 2000) and the Greens (+6% since 2000).

          • The Catholic vote tells a similar story (see Figure 3). Catholic support has dropped a
            massive 24 points since 2000. In 2006, Catholics were as likely to vote Conservative as Liberal.
            In 2008, they clearly actually preferred the Conservatives to the Liberals. Controlling for other
            social background characteristics reveals that the drop in Liberal support among Catholics is
            even more dramatic than the loss of visible minority votes. According to our estimations, in 2000
            the probability of voting Liberal was 15 points higher among Catholics than among non-
            Catholics; by 2008, it was only five points higher.
            http://ces-eec.org/pdf/Anatomy%20of%20a%20Liberal

    • You miss the point. The issue is that you have MPs, like Peter Stoffer, who over the years have been adamant that given the chance they would vote to scrap the long gun registry. Then when the time came they flip-flopped. If your MP was elected on a specific platform then you think you know how they will vote on the issue. You may not agree with their position on that specific issue and you may try to sway their vote and you may not have ever voted for them in the first place, but when he/she votes as expected you can't really be outraged because of it.

  3. 'it's surprising the quality of the argument—the facts and the analysis available for fair-minded people to hash over—is still so unsatisfactory'.

    Ahem! Isn't that the job of the media? the nonpartisan representatives of the fourth estate?

    • We had to wait for Cosh to come in from Edmonton to question that ridiculous 4 Million figure.

      Surely Geddes must have thought—that doesn`t seem right.

      But, if you`ve already made up your mind to keep the registry, that kind of dulls the inquisitive sense.

      • Uh, Blue?

        While the 4 million may be more of an estimate than a carved in stone figure, it's the best we can do, apparently, since the long-gun registry is one part of a much larger thing and it is difficult to quantify which amounts of what costs should be marked against that one part. Cosh came in to repeat a Globe article that got it all wrong, as you recall.

        • The premise of the Globe article was that the 4 million figure is wrong—now I don`t know if the proper figure is 30 million or 80 million but I do know the 4 million figure is absolutely ridiculous.

          So I would not say the Globe got it "all " wrong.

          • $3.65 Million is what the Treasury Board says will be saved from scrapping the long gun portion. That's because it's only a part of the entire $66.5 Million Firearms Program, so there are basic costs not increased by the LG portion, nor saved when it is removed.

    • Isn't that the job of the media?

      Well frankly, it would be nice if our democratically elected representatives would do their job rather than relying on unelected citzens to do it for them.

      If our MPs aren't debating it fully, then they're not fulfilling their role properly.

      • I'm not so sure it's any one institution/estate/citizen group's responsibility – in an informed society, IMO it's everyone's job to seek out truth and facts on which to base their opinions.

        That said, there are some who bear the responsibility of leadership on that accord, but I'm dissatisfied with the suggestion that we plebes should all sit back and wait for people to tell us what to think. Just doesn't jive with my who-knows-how-many years of schoolin' in critical thinking.

        • I agree it is up to us 'plebes' to assimilate information and think about it. However, most of us plebes do not have the access/time/resources that are available to the media. One of the reasons for a free press is to inform the public — not to tell us what to think, but to give us objective, impartial information on which to base our consideration of the issues.

          I would very much like the 'leaders' in our society to be a part of the information process, but we do have (and more and more need) a fourth estate purporting to serve our needs. If only

  4. "From the anti-registry side, we heard mostly nonsense about how criminals won't register their guns—as if that was ever the point of the registry."

    Can I ask for an honest answer to this, because I'm not being glib, and I really haven't been convinced either way about the registry. If the point wasn't to ensure only law-abiding people had access to long-guns, what the hell IS the point of the registry?

    • To register weapons so they're traceable….same as when you register a car.

      • Then why is it always being linked to ecole polytechnique and, today, to stories like Scott Simms? Those imply a preventative measure, which doesn't seem effective.

        • In the case of ecole polytechnique, it's because the original registry was brought in as a response to the shooting there.

          Oddly enough, if the Reform MPs of the day had been more cooperative at the time, they likely could have worked to solve many of the problems with the registry, and if anti-registry yahoos wouldn't have been registering their glue guns and hair dryers, actions endorsed by many Reform MPs of the day, the cost over-runs wouldn't have been so large.

          • Please, even a thousand idiots registering stupid things like hair dryers doesn't account for that amount of wasted money.

          • I didn't say "all" or even "most", Bob. It did add a considerable amount to the registry though, since all of the entries had to be double checked.

            It seems to me that it's pretty disingenuous to complain about costs that were added to by the actions of the anti-registry crowd. If you were really concerned about costs, you would be concerned about that kind of thing.

          • Have you seen anyone who has written up a fair account on the registry?

            For any conservative friends, yes it was a botched up, knee jerk reaction to a tragedy by the Liberals.
            However, irresponsible actions by Reform MP's (and certain Provincial governments) raised the temperature to where many good, Canadian citizens were being egged on to illegal activities. Trudeau might have just called in the army, but Chretien tried to make a sort of peace which ultimately just sidelined the messy controversy until it was someone else's problem. (Smart, unprincipled SOB was Chretien!). It is truly a dark component of recent political history.

          • A fair account? I don't think one exists. I changed sides to being pro-registry when I saw a couple of things happen. 1. I had some relatives get Alzheimer's and get all paranoid, yet it was difficult to get the guns out of the houses. 2. I saw meth move into what used to be a peaceful small town (thank you oil patch for sending the junkies home without treatment) and gun thefts go way up. Being able to trace those guns would be a really good thing.

          • My. Dear. Lord. Did you even THINK about this before you wrote it?

            A stolen registered gun is no more tracable than an unregistered gun. They can identify the legal owner, but they can't identify who's actually using it.

            If anything the long-gun registry has provided an incentive for criminals to target law-abiding gun owners and steal their weapons — it provides enough of a distraction for the police to give the criminals extra time to get away.

          • Ah, an old talking point. It doesn't stand up to scrutiny, but it has been around for a while.

            So the cops pull over a vehicle. There's a gun in it. One person in the car has an FAC/PAL and says, "That's my gun." They are released, gun still in the car. That's life without the registry.

            Life with the registry: The cops pull over a car. There's a gun in it. Everybody in the car has an FAC/PAL, but the gun isn't registered to any of them. The gun is, in fact, stolen. Charges are laid and the gun is returned to its rightful owner.

          • Speaking of things that don't stand up to scrutiny:

            People who commit gun thefts typically don't have PALs or FACs, as they do not qualify due to their criminal history.

            Perhaps you could provide a few incidents in which police have used the long-gun registry to recover stolen weapons BEFORE they're used to commit a crime?

            But you can't do that, now can you?

            The facts have always been the pinpricks that have deflated your entire argument. WE have the facts, YOU have none.

          • I'm not sure where you are from, Patrick, but where I'm from a lot of people get PALs because they don't have criminal records, but that's only because they haven't been caught yet. I mentioned the meth problem…that can change somebody from a law-abiding citizen into a freak in a hell of a hurry. So can circumstances from bitter marital break-ups to sudden poverty to mental illness.People aren't born with criminal records after all, and situations change over time.

            One of the talking heads on my radio last week noted that 700 firearms were confiscated because they represented a threat to the public peace. She was quoting Stats Can, if I remember correctly. In other words, those guns were confiscated before a crime could be committed.

            The fact is that you are living in the fact-free zone of the Harper Conservatives.

          • *snicker*

            Speaking of fact-free.

            Talking heads on the radio say a LOT of things as if they were a fact. They talk about the lives the long-gun registry has allegedly saved, yet cannot produce a single, solitary case in which the long-gun registry was used to prevent a crime.

            Not a single one.

            The problem with a statistic like the one you've chosen to cite here is the ambiguity of the "represtented a threat to the public peace". Was a definition of "threat to the public peace" provided? Was that an objective or subjective judgement? What was the criteria?

            This hardly qualifies as objective evidence. Until you can produce something that DOES, I'd spare myself the irony of accusing ANYONE of living in a "fact-free zone" — particularly while you make your home in the N0F A2T area code.

          • Just for giggles, I don't even get a Canadian location when I enter what I hope you intend as a punn-erific postal code into Google Maps.

            I get http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=N0F+A2T&ie=UTF8&… instead.

          • Actually, with the rise in Chinese ownership of the world, it's probably pointing exactly where it should be…that's probably where the new headquarters of "Molson CANADIAN" is being constructed as we speak. (sigh…)

          • Funny that you allegedly law and order Conservatives hate the public peace so much. Since the removal of guns under the registry can be challenged in court, the decision would have to be objective. Evidence and all that.

            Your lack of ability to reason leads you to make bizarre statements about cops checkin the registry giving criminals time to get away. By those standards, cops turning on their flashers to signal people to pull over is the sole cause of high speed chases.

            I have to ask though, since your reasons for opposing the long gun registry would also logically be applicable to the hand gun registry, do you also support the abolition of the hand gun registry?

          • *snicker*

            MY lack of ability to reason. That must be why proponents of the long-gun registry refuse to debate any facts.

            Apparently, you don't seem to understand that the police checking the registry for the ownership of a weapon doesn't stop simply there. Immediately after checking the registry, they're going to investigate the owner. Even on a brief interview basis, that takes up precious time.

            Moreover, you make the assumption that weapons returned to the owner following a challenge have been excluded from the statistic that you cite. Can you support this assumption?

            You also make the assumption that people know how they can legally challenge the confiscation of a weapon, or that they can afford to hire a lawyer for this purpose.

            Your assumption that my reasoning for opposing the long-gun registry should also logically apply to the handgun registry rests on a key fallacy: the assumption that each weapon is identical in its purpose and use.

            There are numerous key differences between each kind of weapon: a handgun can be easily concealed. A long-gun cannot. The purpose of a handgun is to be used primarily as a weapon against other humans. A long-gun is not.

            This was an amusing attempt to shift the goal-posts away from dealing with your faulty assumptions based on questionable information, but alas, you have again come up empty.

            Try again. Try harder.

          • You lost me at the 'hate the public peace so much.' Just watch what happens to public peace when Canadian tax dollars are frittered away in lieu of UI and old age pensions. It's also about the budget and bottom line, Reverend, and value for dollar.
            Why are you trying to bait and switch the subject to hand guns?
            Focus. Long. Gun. Registry.

          • Another sub-point, Mary…

            Why is it that we now have "Employment Insurance" that neither INSURES not EMPLOYS people who pay into it? They're not giving us full compensation when we lose out jobs, so we're not INSURED. They're not giving us jobs either, so how exactly does that constitute EMPLOYMENT?

            It's all political doublespeak meant to obfuscate the truth and give people the impression that somethign has changed for the better, even though the actual design is to make everything more expensive and give back even less to the people for their increasing tax burdons.

            Cops have handguns. Cops kill people. Obviously, we need to have less cops on the street…it'd save us BILLIONS, force more Canadians to start thinking about protecting themselves, buying guns, and being properly ytrained in how to use them when the time comes that they NEED to defend themselves.

            Or we could all just subscribe to the nanny-state ideal, in which the only reason we exist is to pay our taxes to people who are smarter than us so that they can protect us from ourselves. (This from the government who wants to give everyone less access to natural foods, natural health care measures and plants that are SAFE AND EFFECTIVE, who doesn't want to see Genetically Modified foods labelled accurately, who wants to continue raping the planet for profits, even as the planet is quite obviously fighting back…)

            But then, we've got people like "The Rev" here, who believe that buying into whatever propaganda we're shovelled is a good thing, because the invisible omnipotent fairies in the sky are going to make it all better….after we're dead.

            Religion: The ultimate consolation prize…you've got to DIE to win!

          • I have to admit I'd never heard the "time to get away" bit before. With good reason – it may be the dumbest thing I have ever heard – barring the bizarre idea that court cases magically get dismissed without hearings.

          • Once again, Mike, you demonstrate your stupidity.

            What do you think the perpetrator of said act is doing while the police are investigating the owner of the weapon? Sitting around waiting to be caught?

          • "… gun thefts go way up" – NOT SURPRISING when you consider that the registry is a one-stop shopping list of where the guns are located! No database is secure and not all police and/or civil servant/bureaucrats are beyond corruption. Gambling debts, drug habits, blackmail, etc. can easily lead to 'leaks'.

          • Do you have any evidence of the registry being breached? Do you really think most meth-heads still own computers when they start stealing from others? Do you think they are all super-hackers?

            The reality is that while the farmer is out in the field working, it's pretty damned easy to break into his house and steal his stuff, including guns.

          • Due to length issues this is a split comment: Hi Rev;

            Now I don't want you to getted all revved up by this question, but speaking about cost; how much exactly is a human life worth? I mean, is there a mathematical formula? If we can actually define the dollar "cost" of a human life; as opposed to the potential dollar value of a human life, then maybe we could run a cost/benefit analysis.

            I'm not entirely cynical about this; and I don't want to be perceived as some kind of "Dr. Spock" but just as a simple formula to create an average, how about dividing the GNP by the number of citizens? All people being equal in the eyes of the God of "the economy" at least we would have some rational basis for (e)valuation.

            Comparing apples to apples: in 2008, the latest period for which both figures are accurately available the Canadian GDP was 1.4 trillion dollars with a population of 33,311,400. (source: wikipedia)

          • second comment of two:

            According to my 1983 dictionary, In the US a trillion is a "1" followed by 12 zeros. Using the American numbering system I come up with the average value of one Canadian as being 1,400,000 / 33.311400 (or) $42,027.65 to "the God of the economy".

            On this basis if the factual operating cost of the LGR can actually be determined (let's say its 10 million) the LGR would need to "save" 238 lives to be economically feasible. At thirty milliion, of course it's times three or 714 lives; with both figures rounded for decimals.

            What do you think? Is it economically feasible or not? And how would anyone be able to find out? So, without facts to support the issue, the LGR seems like another emotionally feel-good solution to a problem that really isn't going away anytime soon.

            And as I personally like feeling good about my emotions, I "irrationally" support the LGR.

            Go figure. . . . no pun intended.

          • As for the second part, I don't think anybody can quantify how many lives the registry has saved. I have no doubt that it has prevented violence and accidents because its existence makes people think a bit more. I have no doubt that the cops have taken guns away from people who may have, in the heat of the moment, used them for violence. I also have no doubt that it has helped to convict people who would have gone on to commit more violence.

            Is it economically feasible? Well, I'm increasingly of the opinion that our economy is the pipe dream of some rich guy sequestered in a 19th century opium den, so I see no reason why it isn't economically feasible. It doesn't cost that much to keep going, and won't save much if we abolish it.

            I support the registry mostly for the reasons I mentioned before. I don't feel particularly good about it because there are real problems with it, but I think those problems can be dealt with and I think it's a pretty small thing given that it's easy to do.

            One thing I would suggest is that guns that have become illegal as rules have tightened up (and those rules have nothing to do with the registry) be grandfathered in under a special category. That would allow the present owner to keep using them, possibly even pass them on, but prevent him from selling them and send up more red flags if they were stolen.

          • Hi Brian:

            When I was a kid the human body contained about $2.00 worth of chemicals. I assume there's been some inflation since then, but given the way we use all the other life forms on the planet, I guess you could make the argument that represents the value of a human life.

            Or you could go the other way and use what an average person earns over the course of a lifetime, whatever that is.

            The value of a human life is intangible though. As far as I'm concerned, for example, my life is worth more than yours, and I'm willing to bet the opposite is also true. I would say that the life of Hayes Carll is worth more than the life of Justin Bieber, but a gazillion screaming pre-teen girls would disagree vehemently.

            So I don't think you can come up with a formula.

          • Putting a dollar value on human life wouldn't change a single thing about this debate.

            The long-gun registry doesn't prevent gun crime, and has never saved a single life. No matter HOW you slice it, the value for the cost is zero.

          • It has caused countless people to surrender their guns–without compensation–to avoid being made into a criminal by papers filed in "legal" offices.

            The cost is never mentioned, as those people lost several hundred to several thousands dollars worth of weapons each…so the actual REAL COST to REAL PEOPLE has never been determined, nor have those people been compensated for their honesty, or their ignorance in turning over THEIR PROPERTY to the propagandists.

            Fact is, there is no way to prove that a single life has been saved, because there will never be any records kept, due to the fact that if they're not registered, such records would be "incriminating evidence" that would be used against anyone compiling it, and anyone contained within it.

            It's a guaranteed no win situation from every angle. Either you give up your weapons and you lose, or your keep your weapons and pay people for your right to keep them and eventually have them waken from you whenever it "becomes apparent that you don't deserve them", or you keep your guns, don't register them, and eventually get them taken away from you by people who have decided that YOU are a criminal.

            Gun prohibition is a FAILURE ON ALL COUNTS just like alcohol prohibition and drug prohibition…it's the same propaganda, just a slightly different presentation, and the same wilfully ignorant people ALWAYS fall for it. The same people who watch professional wrestling and believe that it's all real…the same people who bleieve that the government is out there to protect us by removing natural foods from access and replacing them with genetically modified "frankenfoods", cutting our health care and making safe, effective natural substances illegal…

            (sigh…)

        • Ecole polytechnique was when the registry was brought in…..the Scott Simms story today was emotional, but no help otherwise.

          It's preventative when it's in conjunction with the other measures….licensing and so on. It slows things down, makes people aware this isn't a toy, makes them more responsible if both they and the weapon are registered.

          It all helps towards preventing the growth of a 'gun culture' too, like they have in the US.

          • People already learn that guns aren't toys via the safety programs they're required to complete as part of the licensing program.

            The long-gun registry has never prevented a single gun crime. Not one. No one on the pro-long-gun registry side of this debate has ever produced even one single case where the long-gun registry has been used to prevent a crime. Not a single one.

            Meanwhile, there's always the Dawson College shooting — perpetrated with a registered weapon.

            The ultimate irony of this debate? Dawson College students rallying the government to keep the registry, while the tragedy that took place there happened IN SPITE OF the registry's allegedly-preventative measures.

          • Bull. The gun registry does NOTHING to keep guns away from criminals, therefore, the gun registry CAN NOT POSSIBLY DO ANYTHING OF REAL OR LASTING BENEFIT.

            If criminals still have the same access to guns with or without the gun registry, how does it benefit ANYONE BUT CRIMINALS?

            This is REALLY not that difficult a concept…but then, we've been drilled with propaganda by a society that promotes wilfull ignorance for so long now that it's not at all surprissing that so few people are able to think these issues through on their own any more. They're not supposed to think…they're supposed o accept what their politicians tell them is true…

            I mean, we all still know that there were "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, right? Even though they didn't name any specific weapon that "they knew existed" but were never found…like "nuclear weapons" or "explosives" or "tactical missiles" or "ICBM's" or…well…when you use GENERIC TERMINOLOGY, the brain simply "fills in the threat" if people aren't accustomed to thinking for themselves…and this is where the wilfully ignorant really come into play: The majority of unthinking people are PERFECT targets for directed propaganda.

            Think, or buy into the drivel. It's really that simple.

            Think, you win. Remain wilfully ignorant, buy into whatever you're told next, and you lose…but you'll be so ill-informed that you'll THINK you won!

            Which of those options is really the better one? Thinking you're safe, or BEING SAFE?

      • I keep reading/hearing the comparison to registering a car — a lot of farms/ranches have unregistered vehicles that are perfectly legal because they never leave the property of the owner. Don't think that is an acceptable comparison for most pro registry people.

        I don't see a big plus to society in having the registry, but I also don't see registering as a big deal (even at a small cost to the owner).

        • And if you never take a gun off your property, the cops will never know that it isn't registered. I don't see a lot of RCMP out in the field when I'm letting my dog drive the truck, after all.

          If you decide to take the gun off of your property, you do run the risk of getting caught though, and if you commit a crime with the gun, on or off of your property, the police will have one more thing to charge you with.

          • "I don't see a lot of RCMP out in the field when I'm letting my dog drive the truck, after all."

            That's so cool! Standard or automatic?

          • Let me be clear (heh). The dog only steers, I work the pedals. Started with a standard, and that truck was more fun because I could let him drive into things. I got a new truck, so it's an automatic now, and Mrs. Rev says we aren't allowed to dent it with what she calls, "Your redneck games."

          • And who holds the beer…oh, never mind.

          • An important consideration, actually. The new truck has a cup holder, but in the old truck I had to juggle.

          • What did your dog do?

          • Steered the truck and smiled a lot.

          • OK, now I have to go wash my brain out.

          • Hi Reverend;

            When your dog drives the truck I can just imagine you spend a lot of time in frantic prayer; Oh GOD!!! Don't let him hit the kids!!! Sheesh . . .that was a close one!!! O GOD!!! Don't let him hit the house!!!! NOT THE BARN, GOD!!! there's livestock in there. THE WIFE???? Oh, GOD, thank you . . .

            OK, Dawg, you can hit the brakes, now. OH GOD!!! He can' t hit the brakes and he's coming right at me!!!

            OH GOD, OH GOD, OH GOD

            . . . . ummmm Hi again "wife". Don' t blame me we're still together. It's that d@mn dawg's fault . . . .

          • Nah, I just generally pick an empty field and sing along with the Supersuckers. It's oddly relaxing.

          • Of course, the "Supersuckers" being the wife and kids . . . or maybe even the misguided dog. Anybody/anything that can't shoot back; just to make things interesting; or maybe even fair . . .

          • Nope, just an old cow-punk band that sings about Creepy Jackelope Eyes and Killer Weed. I firmly believe that Live at the Tractor Tavern is the finest live album presently on my I-Pod. The dog likes it too.

            I don't shoot much of anything anymore. Not sure if Mrs. Rev has ever fired a gun. Hmmm…maybe that should be my project next summer. Get the wife a PAL and teach her how to shoot things.

          • "…just an old cow-punk band that sings about Creepy Jackelope Eyes and Killer Weed."

            I still have a soft spot for Humphrey & the Dump Trucks as good listenin' music on crop tours. But maybe I'm just showin' my age.

            And, anyway, how did this thread go feral?

          • I think the good Rev pretty much did that by trivializing it . . . which, like many Conservatives may indeed have been his intention after his relatively serious comment about "Alzheimers", paranoia, meth, the oil patch, junkies and gun thefts and how registratiion might actually be a very good idea.

            Deliberately self-contradictory so that he could trivialize hisown valid but insincere comment and thus "troll" the topic.

          • Nope. My bad…I was the one who started the exchange about dogs behind the wheel. And I'm definitely not a Con ferret.

            Sometimes humour is…I dunno'…fun.

          • I think if you have a look around and get to know me, Brian, it will become apparent to you that I'm not a Conservative. Nor do I think that letting my dog drive my truck in a field in any way trivializes my stand on the gun registry or anything else.

          • Heh. When I was a wee lad I inherited a tricycle from one of their (Humphrey and he Dump Trucks) families. My dad worked with his dad, I think…something like that. They gave us one of their press kits (a folder with some 8×10 glossies). Likely my closest brush with fame.

            Of course all I really remember is getting a tricycle and some hippies giving us pictures (I was four or five).

          • You had an close encounter with the hippies and survived to become a man of the cloth. That's inspirational.

            I have wonderful memories of the big sky (SK)

            Enough. Here endeth the lesson, as far as I'm concerned.

          • Come on . . . he's not really a manof the cloth . . . . and yes, the wonderful memories of the big sky still haunt me; the spectacular sunsets, the gawd-awful thunderstorms, the wind and the hail, the stars on a clear cold winter night, and on a height of land, fifty miles from horizon to horizon.

            Sadly, I grew up and left the prairies in search of fame and fortune. I didn't find that, either. Interestingly enough I now live on the West Coast; and I still really only feel comfortable out on the ocean (on a BC Ferry for instance, but I did work as a commercial fisherman and on the towboats for awhile) where I can really "see" something . . .

          • Welcome to the boards, Brian. You'll get used to us, I hope.

          • Actually I am a real reverend. I got ordained on the internet so I could perform the service at a friend's wedding. It was free and only took about five minutes, but it's legal…at least in Washington State, where my friend lives.

            So I'm an internet-ordained atheist reverend, but it's officially acceptable.

          • Hey, Brian…

            You need to understand that the dog was probably never behind the wheel unaccompanied. I have complete faith that the good reverend was, at all times, on board providing (divine) guidance.

            Dogs, in my province anyway, only have learners permits.

          • Well, he can't reach the pedals, so I kind of have to accompany him.

          • Hey you guys,

            I grew up in rural Saskatchewan; so I understand about farm humour and jokes. Admittedly that was almost sixty years ago. However, I did have three school friends from age 12 to sixteen killed due to "farm accidents". So, trivializing it isn't that funny to me . . . I still remember how quiet our classroom was all three times.

          • Speaking for myself, there is no intent to trivialize tragedy here. How did it a riff about dogs driving pickups come to that?

            I'll bet those folks who lost family members in farm accidents managed to retain or recover their sense of humour. It's one of the few resources humans have left, in the final analysis.

            That's too deep…I'm going to bed.

          • Somehow, I agree; I remember the three empty desks; (the teachers still hadn't had time to empty them or remove them) and I remember going out to play at recess; although we did talk a lot about "what happened". Somehow, by getting back into our "normal" routines it helped us realize that "life carries on"; although I don't remember anybody laughing about it . . . .

          • that is a highly misleading and facile comparison: How many people are convicted of vehicular homicide, as say for instance compared to the number of people who are convicted of "murder' (regardless of the degree) due to the use of a firearm? And how many people can't be convicted of "murder" because they suicided after murdering their victim(s)?

          • Somehow, this comment became misplaced; it is intended as a reply to "Emily's" post above.

          • Well, I don't really beleive he is a reverend, good, bad or indifferent. But divine guidance is definitely a possibility; given that God spelled backwards is . . . . dog.

          • That really is deep. Now I'm going to bed

          • and this one was intended as a reply to broosters comment: "You need to understand that the dog was probably never behind the wheel unaccompanied. I have complete faith that the good reverend was, at all times, on board providing (divine) guidance."

          • It was pointed out above that a person with an FAC but no registered guns, may be put under suspicion on a routine computer check. I think that is a valid point.

            Also, he was pointing out that you can drive a vehicle on your own property legally without being licensed, or registered. That is why the comparison falls apart at the slightest touch.

            And if a guy/gal has commited a crime, with his/her long gun, I don't think the failure to register will be of any consequence.

          • Actually, that's a superior system to the long-gun registry anyway.

            If an individual has an FAC or PAL, they police should act on the assumption that a weapon is present, and prepare themselves accordingly.

          • And what happens when that weapon is only a stapler . . . .???

          • I would prefer that police be prepared to deal with an individual with a gun when no gun is present than be unprepared to deal with an individual with a gun when a gun IS present.

            This is day one stuff. Thanks for tuning in.

          • In the case of Robert Dz (and I don't know how to spell it but I think you get the reference) it was our trusted police who were the problem; and they had the weapons; and they were totally "unprepared" to deal with the real situation "rationally". It seems they completely overreacted and crapped out on their training. And a totally uneccessary – and perhaps criminal – death occurred. Ok, maybe that's not specifically relevant to this topic. The point is that even trained law enforcement professionals can kill people through the inappropriate and deliberate use of deadly force.

          • Yes I DO get the reference, and I'll tell you this: this was a matter of poor officer training and discipline, not a case of poor preparation.

            The first tazer use was actually quite justified. It was the repeated and — in my view — malicious use that resulted in mr Dizenkanski's death, and was unjustified.

          • No, no, no, those officers went at Mr. Dziekanski without taking time to properly professionally assess the situation and the real, substantiated risks. It's like they assumed he was violent, armed, and dangerous (with a stapler, no less) and they were the "assault team" or the SWAT squad.

            And then afterwards they conspired to fabricate their own version of events which fabricated version of events was completely invalidated by independently recorded evidence. This all came out in the subsequent inquiry by the way.

            Even Canada Border Services got in on the act when the "official" airport security videos went "mysteriously" missing . . . .

          • Wrong. Entirely.

            Dzienkanski was behaving violently — barging into an office and shrowing the furniture around.

            He was frustrated due to difficulty finding help at the Vancouver airport, this is true. But he was still behaving violently, and still needed to be dealt with.

            Under those circumstances, as few as one shots from a tazer was justified. No more than two. What the officers did was excessive, but this has nothing at all to do with the topic of discussion here.

        • Because to most of us, a car is a mode of transportation. In the case of a car, you don't need to register a tool that doesn't do what it's intended purpose is. Similarly, I would have no problem if you didn't register a gun that didn't shoot. Like those wooden rifles the kids play with, might scare someone in the dark but really, not a danger. Of course, I don't think the bears would be scared off, either.

          • But you can having a working, unregistered pick-up to go out and chase after them, and that would be legal.

            You could even potentially kill/injure yourself or somebody else in an unregistered vehicle, on your own property, without necessarily breaking any laws.

    • If police find out about an unregistered gun, they investigate and perhaps stop a violent crime before it happens.
      If a registered weapon is stolen and uncovered by the police, perhaps two crimes are tied together which helps them to be solved.
      If someone commits a crime with an unregistered weapon, perhaps that is used in court to suggest prior intent.
      If someone registers a weapon, and then is found (through the courts) to be mentally imbalanced. (Perhaps uttering death threats, perhaps assault, a condition of release could be confiscation of the weapon.

      However, the main point is a few facts: 1) long guns are responsible for the majority of firearm deaths in the country
      2) the two people most likely to kill you with a long gun are the person you see in a mirror and the person you sleep with. The RCMP report had a number of recommendations for reducing those deaths, some of which involved the registry.

      • 1) I think that is true if country means 'non-urban' areas. Likely because most hunters and farmers have long guns rather than pistols.
        2) I seem to remember reading the stat that suicide numbers have remained constant and the spousal murder rate has lowered slightly (no doubt due to the aging population). if a long gun is not available, it does not mean that a suicide or spousal murder will not take place — and I have yet to see convincing evidence that registering a long gun will influence the illegal use of said object.

        • country means Canada…. I was not throwing out ideas. those are the facts and they are not in dispute.

        • Your vague memory is worthless.

          "…Hazelton, of the nurses union, said 88 per cent of Canadian women who are killed with guns are shot with long guns.

          "Access to guns is the fifth-highest of 18 risk factors in spousal homicides," she said. "We believe the registry is one more tool that will help keep our citizens safe…"

          http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/0

          • "I seem to remember reading the stat that suicide numbers have remained constant and the spousal murder rate has lowered slightly"

            What embee said there is correct, if you don't believe him I suggest you look into it. Neither of the stats you provided are contrary to what embee posted. So in debunking him, they are vague and worthless.

          • ? How could I debunk him…. my comment was first. In any case, quoting that the two largest types of firearms deaths have either been held constant or dropped since the introduction of the registry is hardly evidence that it does have a function, so why would I want to debunk them.

            embee was asking if by country I meant rural and implied that my two statements might be true in that context. I clarified that by country I meant Canada and that the facts are available for anyone wanting to look them up.

          • That was for Holly Stick. I'm not sure why you thought it was for you. She replyed to embee with some irrelevant stats, and a drive-by insult.

            I thought the first part of your post actually laid out some good points, but the second half was weaker.

          • The Canadian homicide rate has remained essentially stable since the mid-1990s
            after declining during the early 1990s. In 2000 it began to increase again. Over this same
            time period, firearm murders have also declined, although this has been compensated by
            increases in murders involving knives and clubs. The homicide rate plummeted in the
            United States while the Canadian homicide rate has remained flat (see Figure 5). Between
            1991 and 1997, the homicide rates in both Canada and the US fell by 32 per cent. Since
            1997, the homicide rate in the United States has fallen an additional 19 per cent, from 6.8
            per 100,000 in 1991 to 5.5 per 100,000 in 2004, while the Canadian rate has remained
            stable at 1.8 – 1.9 per 100,000 (Dauvergne 2005; Gannon 2006).
            http://www.garymauser.net/pdf/MauserPaper-200611….

          • While interesting, none of that addreses embees claim,

            "I seem to remember reading the stat that suicide numbers have remained constant and the spousal murder rate has lowered slightly"

            I'm pretty sure he's right about that.

            I'm also pretty sure that as long-gun suicides have halved over the last 20 years, suicide by other means has doubled. Coincidence?… I think not.

      • Alright. Even given that somewhat compelling account, I'd probably say it wasn't worth the ridiculous initial expense, but since that money now long-gone, I guess I remain ambivalent about the registry's survival.

      • Isn't point 2 true even if you delete the words "with a long gun"? Is it less true now that there's a registry?

      • How often do police find out about unregistered guns? Not often.
        The time lost when police investigate the victim of the gun theft gives the perp additional time to escape justice.
        PERHAPS? You'll have to do better than that.
        If someone possesses an FAC or PAL and is found to be mentally imbalanced, police ought to assume that they possess a weapon regardless of what the registry says.

    • One of the primary purposes of the registry is to make sure that firearms owners are accountable for the weapons they do own. Requiring them to register has a twofold effect of:

      1) Incentivising proper storage because you will now have to account for firearms that aren't on hand and/or in their storage bins if you are inspected – which will still happen if there's a registry or not but there will be no list available to the inspector to compare to and ensure someone's not keeping a gun under the bed if something's not in the cabinet.
      2) Encouraging the monitoring and reporting of lost/stolen arms because, when they are now found, someone's going to want to know why you didn't say something.

      The attempt to ensure proper storage is the key one because it has been proven to be beneficial in preventing accidental deaths – particularly amongst children of the owners – and also has been said to have an additional limiting effect on suicides and crimes of passion by placing stops in the way of someone who's "going for their gun" to kill themselves or someone else: they have to go through multiple locking mechanisms to do so and this has been found to provide a "cooling off" or "come to their senses" period in some cases where the person is still otherwise rational.

      • Thank you for that thoughtful attempt to explain things. As I said earlier, I am 6 of one/half dozen of the other on this issue, and remain confused by the multiplicity of 'facts' that seem in contradiction of each other. On the points you make above: some say that the registry mandates safe storage (you seem to indicate perhaps not?); some say that suicides are down due to the registry, others indicate that suicides by gun are down, but overall the suicide rate has changed very little (I am inclined to agree that the lack of immediacy of the loaded gun at bedside should deter at least some, but am unclear how the registry would directly account for that).

        I record the serial number of my TV, computer, etc. Wouldn't most gun owners have a record of their own without the registry?

  5. "…A 2008 B.C. government report pointed out that illegal firearms often enter the country by being purchased legally by gun dealers, who then sell them illegally. With the long gun registry in place, dealers can be charged for possession of unregistered guns. If they choose to register the guns, they can be held accountable for missing guns, or seized guns that are traced back to them. If the registry is scrapped, these dealers cannot be stopped…"

    http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2010/09/22/RegistrySave

    • The point was how illegal guns get into Canada. They are purchased in the US for example where they are legal. They are then smuggled into Canada and sold for drugs or money. These people are not gun dealers but criminals selling to criminals. This is not a statement on the practice of the legal sale of firearms in Canada. Any legitimate purchase and importation of firearms is closely monitored and every weapon recorded. This has nothing to do with the long gun registry per say.

    • Another point to add to the list, and a good one at that.

    • Wait, a 2008 BC government report?

      So what you're saying is that it was fast tracked right?

      I'm surprised when a government can get anything together after 4000 years. ;) LOL

  6. Canadians have been conned by our MPs into believing that the vote on Bill C-391 was split along rural-urban lines with one even summoning the ghosts of the “urban elite”. The fracture in the issue was along several lines including age, province of residence, gender and education.

    From a poll taken in November 2009, it appears that Canada is divided on the gun registry, but not only along rural-urban lines. Why didn't politicians bring up the fact that 47% of males wanted to abolish the gun registry compared to the 30% of women? Why didn't they pit the 45% of Canadians 65 and older who favoured abolition versus the 29% of Canadians under 25?

    As Canadians, we have to be careful about what we believe, especially when we are using politicians as our source of information. Their primary goal is to get re-elected, nothing more and nothing less. If in the process they divide Canadians, sadly, that seems to be of little concern to them.
    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/

    • As one of the over 65 crowd, I have to say that I don't know ANY other seniors who want to abolish the long-gun registry. A few have said they would like to see it improved. None have said they want it abolished.

    • Why is this issue about "dividing" Canadians so important? Dividing us into what? Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, Bloc, Green, abstainers . . . ?

      And then statistics examine exactly how we are "divided". What? Does some overpaid, ivory tower, academian or beauraucrat invent ways in which to statistically divide and fragment and analyse "everything"? As a mental exercise it is undoubtedly interesting, and obviously many people make very good livings doing this but how is it particularly relevant.? In other words, so what? Especially when at least 40 % of us don't even bother to vote anymore, regardless of how we are "divided"?

  7. I think Stoffer is safe, if he wants to be. His riding sort of wraps itself around the city and
    peninsula of Halifax. It's becoming more and more suburban rather than rural. One
    particular part of it is rock-rib conservative … the Musquodoboit valley , which is a pocket
    borough of the Streatch family .. a long string of provincial and municipal warlords and which
    Gerald Keddy married into.
    Outside of there, he's received a lot of support for his change of heart. And his focus on constituency
    affairs and veterans issues will stand him in good stead.

    • Actually, Stoffer's existing riding lost most of its rural component six years ago in the redistribution. His electors are now overwhelmingly suburban.

  8. I"d like to see an opposition member — maybe one who switched votes today — bring forward a private members bill that includes the amendments that were offered and refused by No Compromise Harper, and force the cons to either support it, or disappoint their constituents. PM said this issue is not dead, so force him to compromise or kill it himself.

    • Firearms owners have been asking for compromises for 15 years and were getting told to sit down and shut up.

      So now that its an issue, the libs and dippers are prepared to sit down, yah right.

      • Can you actually back that up robin? There have been no compromises brought forward in Ottawa by anyone in any party. The Conservatives have explicitly ruled it out. (admittedly the situation is different now) I have never seen anything in any newspaper, blog etc from a pro-gun owner point of view that would leave the registry in place. If you could provide any link, or reference it would be most appreciated.

      • I realize you're sore today, but perhaps in the future, you will see the benefits of compromise.

    • I like that idea a lot. If it forces the Libs and NDP onto the same page in support of amendments, it would bring Harper's biggest nightmare into fruition: a(n ad hoc) coalition. If the Bloc come on board, too, well…armageddon.

      • Before people start thumbing me down here as some Con 5th columnist, I'm suggesting that collaboration among opposition parties in this context would be a positive development in several respects. First, it puts forward amendments to the registry that need to be debated. Second, it's a step toward overcoming the collective impotence/inertia that has neutralized the opposition in the last four years. Third, it would "un-demonize" the whole concept of coalitions which, in healthy democracies, are effective ways of achieving stable governance in a multi-party context. That's a notion the Cons are afraid will gain traction in Canadian political discourse because they have no one left (or right) with whom to coalesce.

        So, I like Patchouli's suggestion.

        There, I'm done…for now.

        • Bravo

          • The only people who are afraid of the idea cooperation are the Conservatives

  9. Hello all;

    I live in an urban area and I do not own a gun. I have never even fired or discharged one.

    After I requested my Conservative MP, the Hon. John Cummins to either vote to support the registry or to vote to dismantle it based on the majority number of constituents who registered or expressed their wishes with him; I asked him to vote to support it.

    I suggested that this was a matter of his conscience and basic "democracy". Apparently all the Conservatives followed the party line. I wonder how many of them did not follow their conscience and vote according to the majority of their consituents who were not ambivalent and expressed their wishes?

    Yes this principle also applies to the Liberal and NDP MP's as well; but as I live in a riding "controlled' or "governed" by Conservatives, I am wondering if he voted according to the expressed majority intention of (his) constituents who cared enough to contact him about this issue?

    Of course, the biased, prejudiced, partisan ideology of politics being as it is, we will quite possibly never know . . .

    • Yes you do live in an urban area and your choice to support the GR identifies that. You see, we know most urban Canadians have not a clue about firearms or the lifestyle of rural Canadians. It is hypocritical to denounce that which really you have no idea of and obviously no use for. Live in your busy, congested, cramped, big lifestyle way but please realize that those of who want the GR scrapped are the most affected by it in our lives. Your idea of democracy isn't mine. If it were, I'd be agreeing to allow police to enter my home at any time without warrant, to search and confiscate my personal property.

      It seems that narrow minded, tunnel visioned urbanites believe that if one speaks against their stance on the GR, he or she is then said to be no of a fair mind. Most of us want and do live our lives peacefully and within the law. The urban lifestyle and opinion is encroaching on that way of life. We do not reciprocate by expecting city dwellers to change their lifestyle or perhaps give up some freedom to accommodate us.

      A criminal is a criminal whether urban or rural Canadian. The GR does little to identify either unless of course you realize that the GR makes a criminal out of innocent Canadians. It is funny that those who do not own a firearm are the most strongly adverse to the destruction of the GR.

      Cripes, we can't even get an unbiased article written in McLeans. Get your facts straight PLEASE.

  10. Hello all;

    Additionally, I particularly appreciated this comment as posted by Embee above:

    'it's surprising the quality of the argument—the facts and the analysis available for fair-minded people to hash over—is still so unsatisfactory'.

    Ahem! Isn't that the job of the media? the nonpartisan representatives of the fourth estate? (end quote)

    Dear Embee: in case you haven't noticed "the fourth estate' isn't exactly unbiased, fair, non-partisan, democratic and open-minded either . . . compare and contrast the many opinions of various "opinion makers' or "opinion leaders" who write for them.

    Brian Leslie Engler

    • I realize this constitutes a thread hijack, but you raise a question in my mind: do we really want our fourth estate to be automatons regurgitating whatever facts and quotes and rhetoric they are presented with? Or do we want them to have a style and tone of their own, complete with human bias (in any direction)?

      (Can't we have a bit of both?)

      • 'Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, but not their own facts' I have no idea who originally said that, but I think it explains my view of the responsibility of the fourth estate. The media has a special place in a democratic society and one would hope members would live up to the highest standards they claim they aspire to. They have certainly not done so during the run up to the vote on the long gun registry.

        Not only were proponents on both sides of the issue allowed to spout obvious rubbish, without corroboration or substaniation, but the reporter/interviewer rarely objected or questioned the 'facts' being offered. I think most offensive was the lack of respect shown by all concerned to large segments of the Canadian population.

        So yes, I agree we should have a bit of both, but a prequel to an opinion from a journalist should surely be an objective review of all the facts, not a selected data set that fits with the individual's opinion. Those of us not claiming the exalted status of the fourth estate are not so encumbered (although it might be better if we were).

        • Agreed. The objective, neutral and unbiased 360 degree who, what, where, when and why of an issue are the facts, but are dependent upon the efficacy and thorough research of the journalist; and that's called news. Anything else that incorporates any human bias is called an editorial piece.

  11. "This debate just didn't seem coherent enough to me for voters to intelligently judge whether their MPs did the right thing or not."

    Typical liberal/progressive argument – Canadians are too dim to have intelligent discussion about this so lets leave it to the elites because they know best.

    • You'll have to come to grips with one important fact. It's 2010, not 1810.

      Most people don't use, or even think about guns as they go about their daily lives.

      They left the log cabin in the woods behind long ago.

      We are urban, multicultural, technological and 21st century.

      • So?

        Is this supposed to pass for a coherent argument on the merits of the long-gun registry?

    • Um, you might want to try reading that without the obvious bias because he's actually damning the "elites" for keeping it simple to begin with…

      • No matter how many times I read Geddes' post, he is still arguing that Canadians are too dim to think for themselves and need directions from elites.

        Geddes has it ass backwards – Canadians are discussing this, maybe not to Geddes' lofty standards but it's being talked about. MPs are supposed to represent their constituents wishes while many liberals and progressives and some Conservative MPs think they are in charge and us proles can like it or lump it.

        • How did you manage to put that spin on it? He's obviously granting voters the capacity "to intelligently judge whether their MPs did the right thing or not." He's saying it was the major players in the piece who failed to frame the debate coherently.

          Where's the elitism in that?

      • LOL wait for it.

  12. One final thought keeps milling about in my head on this issue. If the Harper government was strongly in favour of getting rid of the gun registry, why did they let Candice Hoeppner introduce Bill C-391 as a private members bill rather than introducing it on the floor as a bill that could have been subjected to a vote of confidence? Or, was it that the Harperites knew that getting rid of the registry was a very divisive issue that was only going to split Canadians roughly in half and so they had it introduced as a weaker private members bill because they didn't want to trigger an election over an issue that was so contentious and probably a non-winner.

    In any case, the issue now has the unmistakable stench of an election issue; the Harper government can now point out the fact that they kept one of their campaign promises from 5 years ago when we next go to the polls.

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/

    • I think the Harper gov`t genuinely thought it could get Bill C-391 passed if were led by a non-combative but strong woman like Hoeppner. And I think she did have prior consultations with MP`s like Stoffer and Keith Martin where they promised cooperation if it were a private members Bill.

      Why a private members Bill ? Maybe they thought that was the best vehicle to get All-Party support rather then including it in a confidence vote where there is often other reasons why MP`s vote the way they do.

      The ironic part is that many MP`s did not vote on the Bill itself but in a more political and strategic way as directed by their higher-ups.

      • Non-combative? Maybe "not quite as nuts as Breikrutz" but certainly not non-combatitive. She's still trying to start a fight with Niki Ashton even though Niki voted with the Conservatives and the Conservatives aren't a factor in the Churchill riding.

    • I think the private member's bill was a particularly cunning no-lose tactic on the part of the Cons because they know that such bills are typically not whipped and that a free vote on the issue would sow disarray among the opposition parties, with their mix of rural and urban ridings – the NDP, in particular. (In fact, it worked in earlier readings of the bill, as members of both Liberal and NDP parties defected to the Cons' side).

      I believe they figured that, if they got sufficient opposition support in the free vote, they might win the issue. if not, they would, at least, expose factions among the opposition parties and create another issue around which to pump the faithful for more cash. A victory, either way.

      What they're not disclosing is how, in a "free vote", they achieved such unanimity among their own ranks. It's hardly credible that virtually all of their own ridings are unified on this issue.

      • I suspect because the registry is such a common sense issue that all the Conservative MP`s have believed from Day 1 that the registry should be scrapped.

        • Common sense in whose universe? Their caucus? You'd have to believe that a majority of constituents in virtually all of their ridings supported abolition of the registry.

          "Common sense" suggests that, demographically, that's not likely the case. Why would PCP ridings be so starkly different from other places where the issue is (as they knew) divisive.

          Are you claiming that the PCP MPs weren't whipped on this issue. It's hardly plausible, IMO.

          • Sorry, that would be CPC ridings, not PCP. I was trying to, respectfully, not call them Cons.

          • I'm sure some PCP is involved in there somewhere. You'd have to be on some pretty strong drugs to think this issue is a winner with the majority of constituents in all CPC ridings.

            And yet not one Conservative voted for the motion.

    • Perhaps the government thought it would be more democratic to allow all parties to vote on the GR. Instead, what we ended up with was the entire party of separatists, a whipped Liberal opposition, and a brow beating NDP leader that lead the campaign against the GR. The falsehoods told by the media were great, the falsehoods told by the chiefs of police were deceiving, and the people that sucked that information in did so without even bothering to become informed on the truths and affects of the GR.

  13. if the people would take time to really learn what the long gun registry do nothing to protect them. the money would be better spent in other fields to really protect the canadian citizen

    • That's nonsense. The gun registry is useful for a whole host of reasons.

      Just because it doesn't fit into the narrow definition of "doing something" put forth by those who are vehemently against it, doesn't mean it isn't useful.

      In fact, that's a classic strawman argument put up to knock down.

  14. Hi "Open":

    I agree with your comment: Additionally: Re: the Harper government can now point out the fact that they kept one of their campaign promises from 5 years ago when we next go to the polls. (end quote)

    Well, if this is the one promise they kept in five years of minority "power, power, power"; it is the only promise.

    I for one will remeber that the next time I vote. And it won't be Conservative.

  15. The debate over the LGR is simply the latest field of skirmish between L(l)iberal nanny state philosophy and C(c)onservative "leave us alone", philosophy. This vote, not definitive of public opinion, was close enough to suggest that the debate is far from over with Canadians, the (small) majority of who seem to favour being controlled by an all powerful state. (But then, little wonder, having been conditioned over so many years by Pearson/Trudeau/Chretien to L(l)iberal groupthink). The Prime Minister's instincts are correct to treat the LGR as a fundamental issue defining the C(c)onservative philosphy. Perhaps it is just a romantic notion now in the "21st century". But one hates to believe it.

    • Fine. Let's discuss amendments to make it acceptable to the M(m)ajority.

      • Ok, what do you think regarding what L(l)ayton has proposed: First a warning, then a ticket, (with presumably an assiated fine) and then "criminalization" for non-compliant recalcitrants? That seems fair to me; although it has been a very long time coming.

        As you can tell, Ididn't get to sleep . . .

        • I think that's the way to go. I would add a clause for family heirlooms etc. and give them a separate classification so they can't be sold, but can be passed on.

          • You can already pass on "family heirlooms" at will. You either a) take steps to disable the functionality of the firearm at which point it can be handed around like candy or b) get licensed and then you can remove whatever you want from the estate (as long as you have the appropriate license)

            Additionally, within Ontario at least, Executors are given rather loose instructions WRT to taking possession and no immediate requirement for licensing (as long as they're not the final recipient of the firearm in question), for the purposes of liquidating or holding the firearms until recipients can comply with A or B so it's not like the guns go immediately flying to the shredder as soon as the licensee passes as is either.

      • That would be the Canadian compromiser's classic way to peace. Just kill the ridiculous law as a symbol that there IS a line in the sand in Canada about overarching statism.

  16. All guns start out as legal guns for the most part. Being able to track where it "fell off the truck" is most certainly a useful tool for police.

    Finding unregistered guns give police a reason to put that person on file, ie identifies people unwilling to obey the law of the land.

    Knowing that guns are now tracked, a lot of people will be a lot more careful about how they care for and store their guns.

    If a registered gun is stolen and the cops catch the thief, being able to track the origin of the gun gives cops a way to track the theft and lay charges against the thief with the help of the legitimate gun owner.

    A huge portion of suicides and murder suicides are committed with longuns, and since people don't go crazy all in one go, there are usually signs people can see that give an opportunity to save those lives through confiscation.

    • Let's introduce a knife registry as well.

      And when I fail to adhere to it, breaking the law, then I can be added to that database of lawbreakers, because I'm just such a bad, bad, man.

      • Guns are complicated to manufacture, limited in number and can be controlled from the manufacturing point.

        Knives are absolutely everywhere because there are a multitude of non-lethal purposes for them. They are therefore almost impossible to register reasonably.

        Guns are for killing. That's it that's all.

        Killing a human with a knife takes a heck of a lot of generated intent, and it must be done at zero range, giving the victum opportunity to save themselves or get away.

        Guns on the otherhand can easily kill by accident, and running away from a good shot is near impossible in many cases.

        Additionally, suicides and murder suicides are usually crimes of passion/delusion. A depressed guy with too much beer in him while on anti-depressants can easily go bad if he has a gun. It's far less likely for someone to generate enough intent in that state to stab their entire family to death with a knife and then kill themselves.

        Your argument is therefore patently ridiculous.

        But then you knew that when you put that strawman up there didn't you?

    • Keep yer reasoned arguments outta here, lefty.

    • You can probably come up with 5 good theoretically sond reasons why all Zippers should be registered because they pose a real danger to body parts if used carelessly.

      If you choose to live in a nanny-state where Gov`t officals monitor your everyday activities, fill your boots, but don`t think it is right to attempt to legislate all of us to be like you.

      In the meantime I`ll continue to use my zipper, carefully, and will resist any bureaucratic monitoring of my activities.

      P.S.—if you think my analogy is silly, it`s is meant to reflect the naivety of your 5 reasons.

      • So what you're saying is you can't respond to the points, so instead you merely mischaracterize them and provide an even sillier strawman than the knife example above.

        I accept your surrender. Try not to take it too hard. :P

        • Sorry if you misunderstood me Phil—I did not mean to mischaracterize your points—I meant to say they were the silly desires of someone who is happy to live in a nanny-state.

          What do you think of the Zipper Registration thingy ?

          • Well at least that one was funny. LOL

            But I still gave you the thumbs down. :P

            I'll admit you're taking the surrender thing quite well though. :O

            I'd keep writing, but I'm running out of obnoxious symbols for the ends of my sentences…

    • Great so as a gun owner if i'm having a bad day and say i would be better of dead then the police get wind of this they should come conficate my guns. Well then I would sure hope they come take your car because all you have to do is park in your garage turn it on and take a nap.

      • That's right, the cops will confiscate your gun because you're having a bad day. (eye roll)

        Why bother to comment if you're so intent on ensuring no one could possibly take your post seriously?

    • "Knowing that guns are now tracked, a lot of people will be a lot more careful about how they care for and store their guns.”

      It disgusts to read these uninformed blogs. Firearms have been tracked since the mid 90's and handguns long previous to that. Since the LGR was implemented, handgun crime has grown, not diminished. So really, this registry or any other will not do want the chiefs of police state it will do. It is a shame the the GR resources will not be directed towards nailing criminals… which is what the Cons intended. And please note, I'm not a Conservative and I'm definitely not Lib or NDP.

      • You go from quoting an obvious and true point related to how legal gun owners care for their guns to a rant on crimes committed with guns?

        And you're complaining about uniformed posts?

        There are a number of obvious benefits to public health and safety related to having guns registered.

        Try actually dealing with the facts.

  17. 'overarching" statism" ? Canada was built on compromise.

  18. Too bad the vote happened as it did… In my opinion, this was not a vote to kill or save the gun registry. It was a vote for or against individual liberty. It seems many in Canada won't be happy until every facet of our lives is controlled by the government.

    • What's next, colour-coded lights that tell us when we can drive on the street? Sheep!

      • Love the sardonic wit. LOL

      • Though you are just poking fun, its an Interesting example. There has been much discussion about traffic lights and the fact that in some cases they appear to cause more harm than good. I've heard stories that some places have removed traffic lights from their most dangerous intersections (forgive me I can't remember where and don't have time to look right now) . Why? Because like the gun registry, it is a false sense of security. They found that by removing the traffic lights motorists had to use their brains and accident numbers dropped sharply.

  19. Before my latest eviction, * corrupt police * removed all firearms from my residence by coercing a relative with a shared key.
    * http://ottawamaths.spaces.live.com Recover $7.2 billions for the Crown.
    I recall it as the only occasion when I have put my unconsumed hot dinner straight into the fridge, in order to preserve it from decay at the table. Never did learn if it survived police appetites for ill-gotten gains.
    Visit * on behalf of your grandchildren and mine.
    aguetta@rogers.com mathematician

    • Isn't that an issue about corrupt police then? Do think all police are corrupt?

      Wouldn't a corrupt cop find a whole host of ways to mess with people given their power?

      Frankly, I don't see this example as a point against the registry, but against abuse of power.

      • The registry IS an abuse of power. Firearms are property under the criminal code. Property rights are PROVINCIAL not federal jurisdiction. The registry is about statism and social engineering, not public safety. 25 years ago you never heard of drive by shootings in broad daylight. Since "gun control" has been enacted gun crimes have gone nuts.

  20. The usual drivel from Canada's left wing loons. What is the point if it isn't to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Control freaks, one and all, I sincerely hope this is the beginning of the separation of Canada to get rural folks away froml the left wing maggots and their self-appointed academic 'elites' from Toronto. This country has become so screwed after Trudeau.

    • I have so far listed five good uses of the registry. See above.

      And I didn't even include the issue of keeping gun retailors from importing and selling guns without registering them.

    • Go live with the hillbillys in the mountains if you want. Us city folk ain't stoppin' you.

  21. Another left wing 'media' personality primping him/herself in hopes od landing a Governor Generalship or a Senate seat when their government of choice (Lieberals) eventually regain power. I used to think our political system was our biggest disappointment. I was wrong–it is the pathetic main stream media group in Canuckistan. We simply do not have a reporter who will dig for the cold hard facts on any issue that might put their political buddies in a bad light.. NO country in thr G20 needs a Fox News north as bad as Canuckistan.

    • How can you write a comment like that without using "lamestream media?" Kory would be disappointed.

  22. Thanks. Still on the fence. Just realized that my printer is at the neighbour's, but I have the serial number on my list. Oh, woe.

  23. Attitudes toward the gun registry are reflective of the ugly political divisiveness in this country. Whether you are in favour of the registry or not, at least you should attempt to be honest about why some people resent it and what it can and cannot accomplish. I grew up on a ranch in the west – you have a gun for kill sick livesstock and cougars & bears that pose at danger to themselves and their stock. Yes, Emily some people in Canada live in log homes. They also produce the food you eat so show them a little respect. Their fields are sometimes over-run with deer and they need hunters to cull the herds. Those hunters eat the meat. Yes, they were shocked when they were asked to register their firearms as though they had done something criminal. Will the registry stop suicides? No. Mental Health programs stop suicides. The Calgary Police chief says the criminals in Calgary are registering their guns so the registry won't even stop crimes. Maybe it will give law enforcement a heads up that a person in the home does have a gun when they go to a domestic dispute, which is helpful.

  24. Why does this have to be a federal issue? If it was municipal or even provincial we wouldn't have as much of a problem would we?

    • Why do you think Chretien put it under the criminal code in the first place?

      Precisely to put it under control of the federal government so that they could claim to be doing something…while actually doing nothing.

    • Acording to the Canadian constitution it is a provincial matter as you are dealing with property [firearms] and property rights fall under provincial law. We haven't had a provincial premier with enough guts to fight it yet.

  25. Speaking as an ex-pat newfie who goes home often and is in touch with long time buddies I can tell you now all Liberal MP's on the rock are toast after this vote! What PO's me is I warned them all not to vote Liberal but oh no, they gotta have their hand outs when the next Liberal government gets in. Short sighted morons!

  26. Not only polish off those resumes, boys and gals, but I'll be voting and hoping for a Conservative majority. The Chief of Police in Calgary was in public favor of scrapping it, as guns used in crime aren't registered. When a Calgary police chief votes for less tracking and control, there can't be much benefit.

  27. I think before John Geddes gets his hands on a Gun, he should go back to School and take some upgrading in English Grammar!

    • Since when do you need to be grammatically correct to fire a gun?

  28. What was the point of the registry again? Anything that cost so much more than promised must have a point. Or does it?

  29. Can anyone cite a single case in which the owner of a long gun decided against shooting someone because the gun was registered?
    The Loser Coalition's decision to vote in favour of keeping the registry was pure political gamesmanship that showed complete lack of respect for taxpayers' money — more than $2 billion of our money down the drain for nothing.

  30. Since the Liberals created the gun registry, I am hoping that, if elected one day, they will also create a knife registry. If they promise to do that, I'll vote for them for sure next election day.

    Here in Toronto a lot of crimes are committed with knives.
    A knife registry would be more democratic, because it would give the whole family a chance to be on a registry. It's mostly men who get on gun registries, which is not fair.

    This would be an excellent way to educate our kids, when they are not in all-day kindergarten, about using and storing knives responsibly.

    Police could easily check out how knife owners are using and storing their knives.They could simply swoop at supper time to see that everyone was using then storing their knives properly.

    Police could do this in their downtime, when they are not doing speed traps and parking tags, which is what police do in Toronto.

  31. Most of the comments here are written by men. I am amazed that Canadians do not remember that 14 women were murdered in Montreal and that is the reason this registry was created. The vast majority of women who are murdered in Canada are murdered with long guns. I cannot believe that the male component of the population cannot think that Canadian lives are more important than whether they are offended as duck hunters. And that they would bring down a government because they are miffed that they cannot have things the way they they have always been on the farm is equally astonishing. We see the effects of uncontrolled firearms in the United States. Why can't more Canadian men think that Canada can do things better and safer than George Bush Harper?

  32. STOFFER can STOFF it u-know where. Criminaliozed, for something, that wasnever a criminal act, nor warranted a criminal charge. Continuing to do something, you have done all your life, as ploitically incorrect as this may be, todaysgun ownersare subjected to a veritable modern day witch-hunt. Imagine. 7 million Canadians, instantly became criminals, because of LIBERAL GUN LAWS, the true source of the divisive drivel, because one Marc Lepine, (Gamil Gharbi) murdered14 women at the MONTREAL MASSACRE. thats right. He was a MUSLIM, MYSOGINISTIC TERRORIST, and, HE KILLEDTHOSE WOMEN, so STOP PUNISHING HONEST FARMERS AND DUCK HUNTERS for this crime that everyone damn-well knows FARMERS AND DUCK HUNTERS did not commit. Is punishing honest citizens for someone else's crime OKAY now, in Canada? Is this the UTOPIAN LIBERAL MINDSET? lock up FARMERS and HUNTERS, in PRISONS, like some godless third world country, rife with civil rights abuse victims? Awful nice of the media, to omit reporting THE TRUTH, how many Canadians must go to prison, and have their lives ruined, by these bad laws, before all the braindeads finally admit something is WRONG? anybody confiscate your CAR, because your license expired? NO. I didnt THINK so. SHUT the HELL UP.

  33. LIBERALS authored the current gun laws. They are a"legal monument" to the Montreal Massacre, peretrated by a miysoginistic terrorist nutbar, named Marc Lepine (aka Gamil Gharbi) NOT by Canadian farmersand hunters. So, WHY maintain laws that serve ONLY to attack and punish people for that atrocity? well, lets see. Marc Lepine punishes innocent women, because of his beleifs. TheCanadian Government punishesinnocent citizens because of their beleifs. I think i get it!
    so, prisons chock full of otherwise law abiding citizens, now, political prisoners, what a swell utopian view! can anyone say;human rights abuse?

  34. ABOUT THESE GUN LAWS….anybody here had their car confiscated, because they drivers license expired? did you get a lengthy jail sentence and/or acriminal record too? no.I didnt think so.

  35. "From the anti-registry side, we heard mostly nonsense about how criminals won't register their guns—as if that was ever the point of the registry. From the pro-registry side, we witnessed a heavy reliance on very broad statistics about the way police use the registry—and surprisingly little research that dug deeper to paint a persuasive picture of how the registry helps.

    As for me, I think the balance of evidence supports the keeping the registry. But considering how long this debate has dragged on, it's surprising the quality of the argument—the facts and the analysis available for fair-minded people to hash over—is still so unsatisfactory."

    Obviously, the author isn't well acquainted with common sense.

    How many "gun related crimes" are going to be stopped because an honest citizen registers their weapons? NONE.

    Of course, you make the point that the gun registry isn't designed for CRIMINALS to register their guns, and you're exactly right! The ONLY people who will register their guns are HONEST CITIZENS, and those people who don't want to BECOME CRIMINALS BECAUSE OF AN IDIOTIC STATUTE THAT DOES NOTHING TO PROTECT ANYONE, and that does so at horrendous and wasteful cost!

    After all, as you say, it's not about getting guns out of the hands of criminals at all…it's about making more people criminals so that they can fjustify all those billions they're pouring into prisons for all of those "unreported crimes" Stockwell Day "promises" are occurring.

    People…wake up.

  36. Philanthropist….rest assured there is some closet commie working on that now. I think the socialists read George Orwell's 1984 and figure that is the utopian dream they must strive for.

  37. I did not vote Conservative in the last election and I will not in the next. BUT those who did vote Conservative in order to have the Gun Registry abolished will do so with a vengence in the next and they will bring friends. Ignatieff and Layton were warned.

  38. I'm against the registry, but for Peter Stoffer, who though he is not my MP, ACTUALLY CALLED ME! HERE IN BC, to explain his choice and reason for switching!
    If only my Conservative MP were as interested.